A MUSIC festival is ready for its big day after a warm up party in Southminster.

The organisers of Ashfest, which will take place on July 6 in Asheldham hosted its warm up party at Southminster Memorial Hall in Station Road on Saturday May 25.

Ahead of the full event, the organisers, Rik and Keeley Pond invited three bands, The Rooks, Lost On Broadway and The River Rats to perform at the hall.

The events saw the room filled with 120 music fans whose donations will help to cover the cost of the festival.

Mr and Mrs Pond thought up the idea for the festival to mark their wedding anniversary 13 years ago, hosting an invite only music event in the grounds of their house.

The event has continued to run that way ever since, and Mrs Pond says the event just gets better and better every year.

She said: "Because Ashfest is a free event and we rely on donations, we have events through the year to help us pay for things like the security and extra toilets.

"The show was a great success with three of the 18 bands playing who will play at Ashfest.

"It was a homecoming for one of the guys from Lost on Broadway also because although they are a Southend band, Tom Greaves grew up in Southminster."